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UAE Shifting Food Trends Post-Covid: A Report by Alpen Capital

Residents in the UAE are experiencing a shift in their nutritional preferences, with cereals remaining the most popular cuisine.

In the trial of the COVID-19 pandemic, UAE residents are witnessing a shift in their dietary choices, with cereals maintaining their stronghold as the most favored food. 

According to the recent GCC Food Report by Alpen Capital, the staple nature of cereals ensures continued prevalence, albeit with a modest growth rate compared to other food categories.

Embracing Healthier Alternatives:

The report highlights a noteworthy transformation in eating patterns, indicating a growing inclination towards value-added, convenient, and healthier food alternatives. 

As the region recovers from the pandemic, consumers are turning health-conscious, driving demand for fresh produce and pesticide-free options with high nutritional value.

Vegetable Surge and Marginal Gains in Meat Consumption:

Projections from the GCC Food Report suggest that vegetable consumption is poised to achieve the highest annualized growth rate. 

Simultaneously, meat consumption in the GCC is expected to witness marginal gains, influenced by a health-conscious populace amidst rising non-communicable diseases.

The resurgence of the population, coupled with returning expatriates and tourists post-COVID-19, contributes significantly to the upsurge in food demand. 

This dynamic shift is reflected in the preferences of UAE residents, with cereals dominating 37.4% of meals on average, followed by fruits (17.6%) and milk/dairy products (8.5%).

Future Projections: Meat to Lead Dietary Preferences:

The GCC Food Report foresees a substantial increase in meat consumption in residents’ diets, with vegetables, cereals, fruits, and milk following suit. 

Alpen Capital predicts a 3.3% growth in food consumption in the UAE, reaching 10.4 million metric tons by 2027, driven by economic growth and a rising population.

UAE’s Gastronomic Hub: 

Beyond dietary shifts, the UAE has positioned itself as a global gastronomical hub, particularly in Dubai. 

The city boasts over 13,000 F&B outlets, including Michelin-star restaurants, attracting renowned chefs and culinary innovators. 

Alpen Capital anticipates a 48% growth in restaurant sales, reaching Dh86.4 billion ($23.5 billion) by 2027.

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